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Kitsafari

I am so late  to ST's 2019 Big Year but, I say better late than never.

 

I took a major step back in birding so far this year, mainly because of work, travel and just feeling exhausted from this thing called age. But Herman picked up the slack on the homefront, and he's been out and about for exciting new bird species, and still exciting resident species. This BY thread will be a joint one as we're keen to see how many species still can be seen in Singapore as large tracts of secondary forest and scrubland are cleared to build more and more houses for who knows what residents, and habitat for migratory birds become scarcer or completely bulldozed flat. 

 

so without much ado,  I'll launch our second BY list with a beautiful visitor to our shores. 

 

1. Hooded Pitta, Jan 1/6, Hindhede Park/Singapore Botanic Gardens

1178365929_hoodedpitta-DSC00659.JPG.64082fc0596a998a821c47c390bae9fd.JPGSBG-52.JPG.b986482fd5ee71d76352a9fcd34bc357.JPGSBG-59.JPG.dea8562831e2644fb0ac964890b5ddb9.JPG

 

The hooded pitta appeared a few days before New Year's day, and a lot of birders/photographers rushed to the park to shoot it for their last bird of the year. We chose however to make it our first bird of the year, mainly because we were busy on NY eve! this is a migratory bird and the pitta, as all pittas do, was skulking in the wooded area behind the public washrooms. After an entire morning of people trampling behind the washrooms, the park rangers barred the area and the hooded pitta finally had its peace and quiet. A few days later, another appeared in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and was more accommodating for Herman until a Oriental magpie robin decided to chase it away from its territory. 

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Galana

Is it really that long since you posted? Happy New Year!!

More please.

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Kitsafari

2/SG 2: Asian Koel, Eastwood vicinity

 

I'll start with some birds around our home. 

Asian Koels are part of the cuckoo family, and they sure know how to make their presence heard! the females are stunning although I haven't gotten a female  but I did get two males fighting for territory and probably over a female. 

 

962180425_AsianKoel-DSC00825.JPG.a6dbe019e9b3dc4f6c42d79e31da6e54.JPG1141869038_AsianKoel-DSC00830.JPG.1541323243da6840029439aedf7ab2b3.JPG1418159835_AsianKoel-DSC00834.JPG.784df6f9349e765281e7bf59324f7741.JPG

 

it's unusual to have film clips in BY, but I'm attaching a video clip of how the koels were posturing for the fight. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peter Connan

Great to see you guys back!

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Dave Williams
23 minutes ago, Peter Connan said:

Great to see you guys back!

Absolutely agree and what a way to start!

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xelas

It is never too late in the year to join the Big Year, @Kitsafari! Many of us do not visit your neck(s) of the woods too often, so we are eager to see the birds from there. Plus, with your travels ....

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PeterHG

Good to see your joint efforts here on the BY thread and what an excellent start! The Pitta is a stunner and great footage of the Koels.

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Kitsafari

3/SG3: Yellow-vented bulbul, Eastwood

 

1606465349_yellow-ventedBB-DSC00900.JPG.1207053b47e39cf5286c610ee6d5b3d0.JPG

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Kitsafari

4/SG4: Spotted Dove, Eastwood

 

925437841_spotteddove-DSC00208.JPG.c5d23e14ba0a76d0c2091d3a33a3ed4c.JPG

 

we had no rain for the months of February and March and the trees were getting bare and the grass were brown and dried. we usually don't feed the birds, but with no rain for 2 months, there wasn't going to be any water or seeds for the birds, so we decided to supplement whatever they were getting. the seeds attracted mainly spotted doves, Eurasian tree sparrows, zebra doves and Javan mynas. 

 

800321216_spotteddove-DSC00220.JPG.11e75a36aa17557f00088df43b979c81.JPG

 

 

5/SG5: Eurasian tree sparrows, Eastwood

 

421668557_Eurasiantreesparrow-DSC01446.JPG.e4eec7603ca8eb96e36e3b40d478cd42.JPG1197942066_eurasiantreesparrows-DSC00544.JPG.4671e3ab6679e6796b698b9f80948965.JPG

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Kitsafari

6/SG6: Zebra doves, Eastwood

 

a couple of stories developed about this lovely dove at our home. First, a pair of zebra doves started to nest on a tree just next to our house in January.  The poor female had to endure days of chemical fogging as we had a serious outbreak of dengue fever again in our neighbourhood. Then, the government parks staff came to severely trim the trees. I had to stop them when they came close to the nest at this particular tree. The mother dove would return after each interruption and persisted in sitting on the eggs. But the trimming did the damage as it made the nest visible to predators and a few days later, the koel helped itself to two eggs. :(

 

DSC00888.JPG.33caeb83694e3c4500530d85004c9821.JPG

 

story 2: another pair had better luck and managed to raise 2 fledglings. one day, the two chicks flew into our garden, and the adult had to fly in to feed them. They perched on our parameter fence but the parents appeared to abandon them. A few days later, my  neighbour moved her car parked infront of our house, and we found one of the chicks dead. The other chick managed to survive with the seeds we provided and the sanctuary in our garden. I like to think it survived as I saw it high on an antenna up on a house a couple of days later. 

486392567_zebradove-DSC01473.JPG.c3e27f6a93a88f38a21c68f5afc811af.JPG2085818489_zebradove-DSC01496.JPG.0d16495cca62c5e7aec7bcb495b3994f.JPG1272875909_zebradove-DSC08482.JPG.5cc55c64a70c9a59bfe029da00bf4096.JPG681832550_zebradove-DSC08487.JPG.5b8ac7aeb38d19a5dcb019454693924f.JPG

 

 

 

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Peter Connan

What a beautiful dove!

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Kitsafari
Posted (edited)

7/SG7: Malaysian pied fantail, Eastwood

 

The resident fantail around our neighbourhood. This little bird used to roost in a thick bush in my neighbour's backyard, and I would hear it sing right behind our house. But unfortunately, my neighbour decided to trim the bushes and cut down the mango tree - both of which used to house a variety of birds from the fantail to the ashy tailorbird, oriental white-eyes, the night heron, a sparrowhawk, orioles. The fantail seems to have found another home nearby since I can still hear it sing just before 6am every morning. 

 

859601826_Malayanpiedfantail-DSC00896.JPG.d2feba9abc1658cd9c91e4a5c15d6e32.JPG1269938005_Malayanpiedfantail-DSC00993.JPG.a93ece46418be025717fa31da58e9469.JPG

 

 

8/SG8: Asian brown flycatcher, Eastwood

 

This is a migratory bird from northern Asia. This was the first time we've seen this flycatcher in our neighbourhood, and it's been around for a few months now. Soon, it will make its way back north and I hope it comes back to visit at the end of this year when migration begins!

 

715829242_AsianbrownFC-DSC01008.JPG.138cb66521a1eb7949f532cf5bdc97c2.JPG158401778_AsianbrownFC-DSC01012.JPG.ee1def30ca4425f20fb8aa248a7b1183.JPG

Edited by Kitsafari

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Kitsafari
6 minutes ago, Peter Connan said:

What a beautiful dove!

 

It is, and surprisingly small as well, probably two-thirds of the spotted dove which bullies the smaller cousins. it also has a lovely call. 

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Kitsafari

9/SG9: White-headed Munia, Eastwood

 

These are small birds of the finch group and quite uncommonly seen. They are very gregarious and move in groups, flying together in sync. They sometimes return to my neighbour's bamboo thicket to roost and you can hear their distinctive murmurs when they return to roost in the evenings or when they prepare to leave in the mornings.

 

2056158548_white-headedmunia-DSC00110.JPG.a6a8b5518f53fc2f1c407129f68a9480.JPG

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Peter Connan

Indeed, tiny and a beautiful song!

 

 

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Kitsafari

10/SG10: Rose-ringed parakeet, Eastwood

 

I hope it's fine to relate some stories of these birds at our neighbourhood. we see them regularly, so we kinda know their back story. Please tell me if the BY is not appropriate for it, especially since I am so long-winded with it. 

Here's another story. Two weeks back, Jasper my dog (my profile pic) was nosing at a corner and a couple of parakeets were screaming at him. I had a look and found a parakeet behind some stuff we stuck at the corner. i helped the parakeet climb a wire mesh pole and then realised it couldn't fly. I thought it was in shock, so left it alone with some water (Jasper was confined inside the house). the adults kept flying to the ground to encourage it to fly. it was getting late, and cats are always moving around, so we kept in a cage for the night. the next day, the same thing the poor juvenile couldnt fly and the parents returned to nudge it to try. i was worried as it hadn't eaten for two days, so late that second night, we brought it to the wildlife rescue centre. It is still there and I was told, when i called for an update, that it had bacterial infection. ONce it is well, they will release at their location as there is a flock of rose ringed parakeets there. For five-six days after we brought the juve to the centre, the parents came every day to look for the juve. I am extremely impressed by their dedication and have developed a huge respect for the bird species.

 

 adult encouraging the juve to fly with it. 1947916918_Rose-ringedparakeet-DSC00534.JPG.f5a8c3ed582990b08ba250b05483982c.JPG

 

Juve looking rather lost: 

300122259_rose-ringedparakeet-DSC00563.JPG.1d4a4d50d70800f71c477796db395839.JPG

 

the adult came first thing the next morning to call for it: 

 

1171769795_rose-ringedparakeet-DSC00764.JPG.33454a3b7bf78e4e2d736739818856c3.JPG682079707_rose-ringedparakeet-DSC09751.JPG.8d2b52a5c630af7657754087e692a917.JPG

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PeterHG

Please continue with your background stories on the birds. I love reading them!

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Peter Connan

Me too!

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lmSA84

Welcome back! Great stories and what a bird to start with! 

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Kitsafari

11/SG11: Blue-tailed bee-eater, Eastwood

 

Both the blue-tailed and the blue-throated bee-eaters are winter migrants. After we removed a beehive in our roof in January, we saw less of the blue-throated bee eaters which were enjoying their meals last year. but in early April when the rains began after two months of dry weather, the bee eaters were back. Blue-throated bee eaters are more common around my neighbourhood. 

 

BeeEater-BlueTailed.JPG.f47417abc9870f26a9695e472cd615cd.JPG

 

12/SG12: Blue-throated bee-eater, Eastwood

 

314025655_blue-throatedBE-DSC00525.JPG.b2063a3d4267dc6331c81c6b789cc49d.JPG

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Kitsafari

13/SG13: Oriental Honey Buzzard, Eastwood

 

We were surprised by the presence of this raptor in our neighbourhood. we saw it a few times, perched on the antennas which gave it a good vantage point. given the number of small birds, we weren't surprised it hung around for a while, and we saw it chasing after smaller birds, javan mynas in particular. This is a migrant and comes in a few forms. 

 

Dark morph: 

HoneyBuzzard-Oriental(Dark).JPG.83d545eade48d71d59b199217295a5a6.JPG

 

tweedale: HoneyBuzzard-Oriental(Tweedale).JPG.1cdc6e16d456d91cca71d795f362642a.JPG

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Kitsafari

14/SG14: Common Iora, Eastwood

 

This is a very small and flighty bird, a challenge to get a good shot of the bird. You will hear it first before you see it. 

 

male: 

50714403_commonioraM-DSC00091.JPG.8e058a4cce627641af71814f44240bd3.JPG

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Kitsafari

15/SG15 : Black naped oriole, Eastwood

 

They've become elusive this year while they showed well last year. But the residential pair has been busy bringing up a young one, which seems to have fully fledged now. This is a native species and is quite well distributed in the country. 

 

Sub-adult: 

1982805247_black-napedoriolejuv-DSC01525.JPG.e4062aee1fd3a033c6db9336cb07d8b4.JPG

 

 

Adult: 

1765372293_black-napedoriole-DSC01526.JPG.3d9967c4c81dc2389f1dfb19c39fb067.JPG

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michael-ibk

Very happy to see you back here Kit, and really starting with a bang - how cool to see a Pitta that close to home. The Oriole is a cracking photo, and of course I do always like your background stories, please carry on with them.

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Kitsafari

16/SG16: Javan Myna, Eastwood

 

This is the most abundant bird in Singapore, having made its home here since 1925 (according to records) via the caged bird trade. It's all but pushed the native common myna completely out. It comes from Java, hence its name, and in flight, its underwings spot a white patch. The birds were causing such a ruckus in one housing estate that the authorities had to think of ways to catch them, other than poisoning the entire lot. so they came out with this (dumb) idea (link here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/javan-myna-birds-potong-pasir-giant-trap-trial-ava-11069350), which failed. 

 

1510671418_Javanmyna-DSC01007.JPG.77a0861813c3b7a9903db199021a3e9b.JPG

 

(pse excuse the water hose! but this photo shows its grey plumage pretty well and its black secondaries (did I use the correct term, experts out there? )

725662049_Javanmyna-DSC01035.JPG.788d55fe99485c40b9159b0a223e7d14.JPG

 

 

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